The boring fighter... or is he?

In a desperate manoeuver, I grab my bastard sword with both hand and charge my foe slicing a deep cut in his knee. He lose 6 hp... Well, this kind of things bore me to tears. However it doesn't have to be this way. We want to feel like we are an action hero, this is the particular reason why a lot of people prefer the 4e. The standard attack is plain boring. When you watch an action movie, the hero often try some desperate moves that can change the tide of the whole battle. 

A way around this boring fight mechanics is so simple that I don't know why nobody use it, I call it fight with intent. Something any character can do so it's not game breaking, and even the monsters so it's way more challenging. You only have to describe your action and WHY you want to make it. For an exemple I would say I charge my foe and atempt to hit his legs so he fall to the ground. If my attempt is succesfull, my opponent would roll a DEX save or else he falls. As simple as that, it could even be used with spells. 

And it's way way more entertaining than describing a cool moves just to hack away a few hp from your ennemy. 




 
Ideally that's somethign everyone should be doing.
Absolutely,

Its basically a called shot without the penalty, if the player is creative enough, no need to apply a penalty.

Its why I like the Advantage rule, if the player is creative enough, and puts enough effort in the role-playing, I just give them advantage on the attack.

I don't need a power to tell me how I attack, I can think of that on my own.

And heck, if the manuevre seems very difficult, the DM can just as easily ask for a skill check to see if you acomplish the deed (in addition to the attack)
Every class can do improv.


We shouldn't be looking for workarounds to boring fight mechanics though.  
Balance is an issue with the method you describe. Consider the player that charge every humanoid and says, "I aim for the neck and try to decapitate him." Every. Single. Battle. It's way more powerful than just knocking the enemy prone.

I totally agree that combat could (and should) be made more interesting and dynamic by such descriptions. I'm not sure a mechanic is necessary though.

Chillin' like a villain.

Every class can do improv.


We shouldn't be looking for workarounds to boring fight mechanics though.  



True, but I'd LOVE to see the fighter with builds that expressly give bonuses to improvised weapons, crazy attack stunts, and unusual tactics.

Swashbuckler the Theme and Background. Or Fighter "school".
Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 
Every class can do improv.


We shouldn't be looking for workarounds to boring fight mechanics though.  



The fights mechanics are not that boring, they are just not well explained. When you give a class some manoeuvers to use. Everyones use them, when you say what an attack is. Everyone just do plain attacks why little room for improv. 
Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



Sure IF I can pick a theme that gives the Magic Missle alternative attack styles. MIRV, around corners, rebound attacks, etc.
Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



Sure IF I can pick a theme that gives the Magic Missle alternative attack styles. MIRV, around corners, rebound attacks, etc.



Does the Fighter get this as well? Doesn't look like it right now.


Picking a "Theme" should not be what makes a class interesting. If a class needs something outside of itself to make if fun that is failed design. 
In a desperate manoeuver, I grab my bastard sword with both hand and charge my foe slicing a deep cut in his knee. He lose 6 hp... Well, this kind of things bore me to tears. However it doesn't have to be this way. We want to feel like we are an action hero, this is the particular reason why a lot of people prefer the 4e. The standard attack is plain boring. When you watch an action movie, the hero often try some desperate moves that can change the tide of the whole battle. 

A way around this boring fight mechanics is so simple that I don't know why nobody use it, I call it fight with intent. Something any character can do so it's not game breaking, and even the monsters so it's way more challenging. You only have to describe your action and WHY you want to make it. For an exemple I would say I charge my foe and atempt to hit his legs so he fall to the ground. If my attempt is succesfull, my opponent would roll a DEX save or else he falls. As simple as that, it could even be used with spells. 

And it's way way more entertaining than describing a cool moves just to hack away a few hp from your ennemy. 
 

And all those options were easily handled in 2E by using... Called Shots. There was a ton of Called Shots details/options in the Complete Fighter's Handbook to satisfy all your needs. But I do think that core rules should be simple, once you get comfortable with those basic rules, provide rules to add any level of detail you want to add in your game, hit locations, bypassing armor, etc. No need to resort to Powers like in 4E to handle non-standard attacks. I actually think that Powers doesn't resolve that issue. Just for example, suppose that :

DM: "The drunk, smelly pirate goes and meet you at the bar and then gropes your ass."
Pirate: "Well, well, what do we have here ?" 
Samara, the female Barbarian: "I kick that b*stard in the nuts" 

So unless PCs come with special "Kick in da nuts" Powers, I don't think you'll be able to handle that situation with that. As a DM, I wouldn't refrain the Barbarian from attempting this because "there is no rule around kicking someone in the nuts". Using 2E ? I would do let her do so with a Called Shot and go with it. You don't need to have every option spelled out on your sheet to let your character act that way, either in combat or outside of it.
  

Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



If in real life I was given magic missile, you would be amazed of the creativity I would find. Striking a hand so the foe make his weapon drop, shooting them on a tree branch so it fall on the foe trapping it. Aiming for a straddle strap so a horseman falls of his horse. Striking a bottle of beer so it explode in the face of the one who drinks it to blind him... many many great way to use it. 

Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



If in real life I was given magic missile, you would be amazed of the creativity I would find. Striking a hand so the foe make his weapon drop, shooting them on a tree branch so it fall on the foe trapping it. Aiming for a straddle strap so a horseman falls of his horse. Striking a bottle of beer so it explode in the face of the one who drinks it to blind him... many many great way to use it. 


This in essence is was the Psionic Soul knife use to be. One trick, all the trimmings.
In a desperate manoeuver, I grab my bastard sword with both hand and charge my foe slicing a deep cut in his knee. He lose 6 hp... Well, this kind of things bore me to tears. However it doesn't have to be this way. We want to feel like we are an action hero, this is the particular reason why a lot of people prefer the 4e. The standard attack is plain boring. When you watch an action movie, the hero often try some desperate moves that can change the tide of the whole battle. 

A way around this boring fight mechanics is so simple that I don't know why nobody use it, I call it fight with intent. Something any character can do so it's not game breaking, and even the monsters so it's way more challenging. You only have to describe your action and WHY you want to make it. For an exemple I would say I charge my foe and atempt to hit his legs so he fall to the ground. If my attempt is succesfull, my opponent would roll a DEX save or else he falls. As simple as that, it could even be used with spells. 

And it's way way more entertaining than describing a cool moves just to hack away a few hp from your ennemy. 
 

And all those options were easily handled in 2E by using... Called Shots. There was a ton of Called Shots details/options in the Complete Fighter's Handbook to satisfy all your needs. But I do think that core rules should be simple, once you get comfortable with those basic rules, provide rules to add any level of detail you want to add in your game, hit locations, bypassing armor, etc. No need to resort to Powers like in 4E to handle non-standard attacks. I actually think that Powers doesn't resolve that issue. Just for example, suppose that :

DM: "The drunk, smelly pirate goes and meet you at the bar and then gropes your ass."
Pirate: "Well, well, what do we have here ?" 
Samara, the female Barbarian: "I kick that b*stard in the nuts" 

So unless PCs come with special "Kick in da nuts" Powers, I don't think you'll be able to handle that situation with that. As a DM, I wouldn't refrain the Barbarian from attempting this because "there is no rule around kicking someone in the nuts". Using 2E ? I would do let her do so with a Called Shot and go with it. You don't need to have every option spelled out on your sheet to let your character act that way, either in combat or outside of it.
  




No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.
No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.

Then I did missread you Sorry about that, I understood it the other way around I too, don't think the Fighter is boring. He's as boring as you want it to be. 

That whole premise that the Fighter is boring does rub me the wrong way, there is countless RPG systems out there that don't use Powers; L'Oeil Noir, Dragon Warriors, TSR-era D&D, Pendragon, Legionnaire, Cyberpunk 2020, etc. Do all these games suck because they don't feature Powers ? I find that kind of statement insulting to a lot of RPGs out there.

Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



If in real life I was given magic missile, you would be amazed of the creativity I would find. Striking a hand so the foe make his weapon drop, shooting them on a tree branch so it fall on the foe trapping it. Aiming for a straddle strap so a horseman falls of his horse. Striking a bottle of beer so it explode in the face of the one who drinks it to blind him... many many great way to use it. 




Well that clinches it then! Wizards are only allowed to use Magic Missle. LOOK at all the cool things you can do with it!!!!!!

/sarcasm.


No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.



Save or be stunned is a fancy rule. So is figuring out how long an enemy is knocked down, or how far you can push them if you try to tackle them. So the fancy rules are going to be there, or you have a huge problem with consistency and balance.

Special maneuvers are just standardized rules for how you try and what happens if you succeed. It's no more spell-like than a Rogue's Sneak Attack. Having it on the character sheet is good design because it helps players with poor memories and prevents time-consuming flipping thru books.
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



If in real life I was given magic missile, you would be amazed of the creativity I would find. Striking a hand so the foe make his weapon drop, shooting them on a tree branch so it fall on the foe trapping it. Aiming for a straddle strap so a horseman falls of his horse. Striking a bottle of beer so it explode in the face of the one who drinks it to blind him... many many great way to use it. 




Well that clinches it then! Wizards are only allowed to use Magic Missle. LOOK at all the cool things you can do with it!!!!!!

/sarcasm.



For an attacking spell, it's more than enough. What is a fireball, a big magic missile that strike multiple foes. Wait a minute we also have chain lightning... a magic missile that strike foes who are next to another... And hmmm we also have cone of cold... a magic missile that strikes a strange pattern in front of you... 

 


No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.



Save or be stunned is a fancy rule. So is figuring out how long an enemy is knocked down, or how far you can push them if you try to tackle them. So the fancy rules are going to be there, or you have a huge problem with consistency and balance.

Special maneuvers are just standardized rules for how you try and what happens if you succeed. It's no more spell-like than a Rogue's Sneak Attack. Having it on the character sheet is good design because it helps players with poor memories and prevents time-consuming flipping thru books.



I didn't think of it as a fancy rules, if someone falls he is down until he can get up, if he drops his weapon well he have to get it back. All other effect should last only one round blind, stun, pain, doubt, etc etc. 
The Playtest didn't include rules on combat manoeuvres.... so for the time being we have to make them up on our own.

Personally, I just ask for an Ability check (perhaps a contest), depending on the situation.

If someone does a called shot, I just make him do a Dex check in addition to the attack.
If someone tries to topple his target as he strikes him with the shield, I make him do a Str check in addtion to the attack.

and so on..

Older additions have 'Called Shot' penalties.. but I dislike those because high DCs and Penalties discourages players from being creative, and that is the opposite of what were trying to accomplish.
The Playtest didn't include rules on combat manoeuvres.... so for the time being we have to make them up on our own.

Personally, I just ask for an Ability check (perhaps a contest), depending on the situation.

If someone does a called shot, I just make him do a Dex check in addition to the attack.
If someone tries to topple his target as he strikes him with the shield, I make him do a Str check in addtion to the attack.

and so on..

Older additions have 'Called Shot' penalties.. but I dislike those because high DCs and Penalties discourages players from being creative, and that is the opposite of what were trying to accomplish.



I could'nt agree more! However just to speed up gameplay I ask the target for a save. After all if everyone can use called shot it's not unfair if someone doesn't use them. 
Riddle me this. Would you want to play the Wizard if the only spell he had was Magic Missle? 


You can improv and call shots as much as you want by the way, all you have is Magic Missle. 



If in real life I was given magic missile, you would be amazed of the creativity I would find. Striking a hand so the foe make his weapon drop, shooting them on a tree branch so it fall on the foe trapping it. Aiming for a straddle strap so a horseman falls of his horse. Striking a bottle of beer so it explode in the face of the one who drinks it to blind him... many many great way to use it. 




Well that clinches it then! Wizards are only allowed to use Magic Missle. LOOK at all the cool things you can do with it!!!!!!

/sarcasm.



For an attacking spell, it's more than enough. What is a fireball, a big magic missile that strike multiple foes. Wait a minute we also have chain lightning... a magic missile that strike foes who are next to another... And hmmm we also have cone of cold... a magic missile that strikes a strange pattern in front of you... 

 




But does the basic Magic Missle get to do that? No. 
Does the Basic Fighter presented here get a way to modify his attacks like that? No

If a class cannot be interesting based on its own standings there is no real point to having it. Sure you can do interesting things with the Fighters basic attack, and its been proved you can with just "Magic Missle", yet the Wizard gets more then that and is thus a better and more exciting class. The Fighter isn't.
Can the magic missile or the fighter attack do this? Of course they can! Any DM that would not let you improvise this way is a bad DM. Unless you want to play a computer game, pen & paper is there for you to try ANYTHING. The rules are there as guidelines and no one should think the fighter is boring because of the lack of 'powers'


No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.



Save or be stunned is a fancy rule. So is figuring out how long an enemy is knocked down, or how far you can push them if you try to tackle them. So the fancy rules are going to be there, or you have a huge problem with consistency and balance.

Special maneuvers are just standardized rules for how you try and what happens if you succeed. It's no more spell-like than a Rogue's Sneak Attack. Having it on the character sheet is good design because it helps players with poor memories and prevents time-consuming flipping thru books.



I didn't think of it as a fancy rules, if someone falls he is down until he can get up, if he drops his weapon well he have to get it back. All other effect should last only one round blind, stun, pain, doubt, etc etc. 



A rule is a rule is a rule. The point is that if you're going to have attacks that do more than damage, you need a rule that sets out how you attempt it (is there a penalty? How much? Is it mechanically viable for players to do this or will straight damage always be better?), and what the effects are (how long does it take to getup or find a weapon? How much damage to someone's armor does a given hit do? What does it mean to be in pain or doubt? Does this give the Rogue advantage or just the fighter?).

Now we move on to a different question - should the fighter, as the designated master of arms character, have a class feature that makes the fighter better at called shots that produce particular effects (I.e, maneuvers) than other classes? Is this necessary to make the class tactically engaging enough for those who want a more tactical fighter? Can this be done in such a way that those who prefer a simple fighter can still play one? Is a straight numerical advantage an interesting and compelling mechanic, or is something else needed?
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Can the magic missile or the fighter attack do this? Of course they can! Any DM that would not let you improvise this way is a bad DM. Unless you want to play a computer game, pen & paper is there for you to try ANYTHING. The rules are there as guidelines and no one should think the fighter is boring because of the lack of 'powers'



Any DM that lets you go for the eyes with every attack is a bad GM. Your little godmodding exercise has nothing to do with DnD.
Can the magic missile or the fighter attack do this? Of course they can! Any DM that would not let you improvise this way is a bad DM. Unless you want to play a computer game, pen & paper is there for you to try ANYTHING. The rules are there as guidelines and no one should think the fighter is boring because of the lack of 'powers'



Any DM that lets you go for the eyes with every attack is a bad GM. Your little godmodding exercise has nothing to do with DnD.



Is going for the eye, save or be blind for a round godmodding? I don't think so, should there be penality if you try? NO Should it have penalities if you fail... YES It's not godmodding, it's allowing players to be creative and rewarding them if they want to try special things. Is it the spirit of D&D? I'll be bolder than that and say it's the spirit of EVERY pen & paper role playing game. 
I think that the fighter will be more interesting with packages that will come later.

With feats, backgrounds, themes a fighter will NOT be just an auto swing guy.

You'll be able to get rage as a feat(most probably), you will be able to use maneuvers(trip, disarm, grapple, sunder, bullrush), power attack, whirlwind attack, special critical moves, forcing critical with some disadvantage to yourself.

there are many possibilities that we can think of right now. Like using your own Ki turn your sword into flaming weapon. There WILL be options to make your fighter interesting.

Because in it there will be barbarian, ranger and paladin as a special theme.

And if you want to use custom and not predefined theme you can mix and match them.

But point is that with selecting feats you will be able to choose how many "daily" feats, how many "at will" feats, how many "maneuver" feats and how many "utility" feats you need and want.
 
it's allowing players to be creative and rewarding them if they want to try special things.



But nothing about this is unique to the fighter. During combat, all of the classes could be attacking and trying to do such special maneuvers. There is nothing in the rules, as of yet, to indicate that the fighter is better at this than anyone else.


No need for fancy rules, just a save or be stun for some rounds. Depending mostly on the size of the nuts Sorry, I think you just misunderstood me, or I am explaining badly haha. I just think that called shoots is all a fighter need, not special manoeuvers written on the sheets like spells. But a lot of people seems to disagree and think the fighter is boring. But I don't think so.



Save or be stunned is a fancy rule. So is figuring out how long an enemy is knocked down, or how far you can push them if you try to tackle them. So the fancy rules are going to be there, or you have a huge problem with consistency and balance.

Special maneuvers are just standardized rules for how you try and what happens if you succeed. It's no more spell-like than a Rogue's Sneak Attack. Having it on the character sheet is good design because it helps players with poor memories and prevents time-consuming flipping thru books.



I didn't think of it as a fancy rules, if someone falls he is down until he can get up, if he drops his weapon well he have to get it back. All other effect should last only one round blind, stun, pain, doubt, etc etc. 



A rule is a rule is a rule. The point is that if you're going to have attacks that do more than damage, you need a rule that sets out how you attempt it (is there a penalty? How much? Is it mechanically viable for players to do this or will straight damage always be better?), and what the effects are (how long does it take to getup or find a weapon? How much damage to someone's armor does a given hit do? What does it mean to be in pain or doubt? Does this give the Rogue advantage or just the fighter?).

Now we move on to a different question - should the fighter, as the designated master of arms character, have a class feature that makes the fighter better at called shots that produce particular effects (I.e, maneuvers) than other classes? Is this necessary to make the class tactically engaging enough for those who want a more tactical fighter? Can this be done in such a way that those who prefer a simple fighter can still play one? Is a straight numerical advantage an interesting and compelling mechanic, or is something else needed?



I personally like the keep it simple method, everyone can try called shot with no penalities, if they succeed. But a minor hindrance if they fail, something like lose 2 to AC due to failure. Of course master at arms could remove this special penality with a special skill. 

Trance-zg - the danger with this approach is that it replicates the Fighter's feat tax from 3.X. In order to get interestingness, you have to use up feats and themes that could go to other purposes (effectiveness in the interaction and exploration pillars, rounding out a character concept, etc.), while other classes get class features and feats and themes on top of that. 
 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
it's allowing players to be creative and rewarding them if they want to try special things.



But nothing about this is unique to the fighter. During combat, all of the classes could be attacking and trying to do such special maneuvers. There is nothing in the rules, as of yet, to indicate that the fighter is better at this than anyone else.



Usually the fighter is better at hitting opponents, if other classes can't hit as well they will be at a disavantage in doing called shots. Unless called shots are allowed on the magic missile, the mage would be the best user of called shots.
I think we have raised an interesting point here, is it more interesting to have 'powers' as the mage and other classes get. Or is it possible to have an interesting basic core mechanic that makes 'powers' fun but not the only thing interesting in the game. In my opinion, and it's just an opinion. I think that 'powers' shouldn't be an obligation to have interesting characters. They might be fun, but this shouldn't be what makes the system.

I personally like the keep it simple method, everyone can try called shot with no penalities, if they succeed. But a minor hindrance if they fail, something like lose 2 to AC due to failure. Of course master at arms could remove this special penality with a special skill. 




Ok, I feel we're getting somewhere. Some new questions emerge:

1. If the Fighter's edge in maneuevers/called shots is an effective +2 to AC, does this make the Fighter both distinct and viable as a character class? If the only difference between a Fighter trying to Sunder and a Rogue or Ranger trying to Sunder is a +2 to hit, will that be enough to make the Fighter class worth playing given the class features on other characters (this last part may be mooted if problems with Medium and Heavy armor are fixed, because ATM the Fighter doesn't really get an AC advantage from being able to use those classes of armor)?
2. Is it as compelling a mechanic as a wizard's spells or a rogue's sneak attack? I would argue not; mathmatical advantages are rather passive and can be rather invisible, they don't involve the player doing things or being active. 

Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Trance-zg - the danger with this approach is that it replicates the Fighter's feat tax from 3.X. In order to get interestingness, you have to use up feats and themes that could go to other purposes (effectiveness in the interaction and exploration pillars, rounding out a character concept, etc.), while other classes get class features and feats and themes on top of that. 
 



not necessary. Barbarian theme could give you +3 intimidate and perception.
duelist could give you +3 sense motive and +3 bluff,
archer would give you +3 perception and stealth, 
ranger would give you +2 survival, perception, stealth and nature
paladin would give you +3 sense motive and heal

power attack feat can give you +1 intimidate,
expertise can give you +1 sense motive,
dodge feat can give you +1 tumble,

 also fighter would get like 3.5e most bonus feats so he can make that choices.
 


Ok, I feel we're getting somewhere. Some new questions emerge:

1. If the Fighter's edge in maneuevers/called shots is an effective +2 to AC, does this make the Fighter both distinct and viable as a character class? If the only difference between a Fighter trying to Sunder and a Rogue or Ranger trying to Sunder is a +2 to hit, will that be enough to make the Fighter class worth playing given the class features on other characters (this last part may be mooted if problems with Medium and Heavy armor are fixed, because ATM the Fighter doesn't really get an AC advantage from being able to use those classes of armor)?
2. Is it as compelling a mechanic as a wizard's spells or a rogue's sneak attack? I would argue not; mathmatical advantages are rather passive and can be rather invisible, they don't involve the player doing things or being active. 




You know what bugs me the most, it's the feel that everyone have that 'powers' are a necessity. What should make the fighter stand appart is the feel that he is an unstopable combat machine. However, the price to pay for this awesomeness is having to do a standard attack again, and again, and again. This is what makes the fighter boring, not the lack of sneak attack mechanics or the ability to use a special distinct power. Would called shots give him a dinstinct advantage, maybe not. Would they make him more interesting to play without the need to ressort to powers? Deninitely! 
wel looking at the OP post i see one problem.

he wants to take a improvised action that slows or trips, and make a attack.
this is not alouwed in the current rule set.
as the tripping slowing is a improvised action and you only have 1 action on your turn so you need to chose between attacking dealing damage or the improvised action to trip.

my sugestion would be the folowing:
codify a few of the more common combat manuvers,  
slow, knock prone, disarm, push, couse target to have disadvantage on next attack.
would be some examples.

when a fighter attacks with advantage he choses one of the basic codified combat actions.
( the fighter might have a list limiting him to certain combat actions.)
if both of his attack rolls hit the fighter deals damage as normal but also performs the combat manuver.




 
wel looking at the OP post i see one problem.

he wants to take a improvised action that slows or trips, and make a attack.
this is not alouwed in the current rule set.
as the tripping slowing is a improvised action and you only have 1 action on your turn so you need to chose between attacking dealing damage or the improvised action to trip.

my sugestion would be the folowing:
codify a few of the more common combat manuvers,  
slow, knock prone, disarm, push, couse target to have disadvantage on next attack.
would be some examples.

when a fighter attacks with advantage he choses one of the basic codified combat actions.
( the fighter might have a list limiting him to certain combat actions.)
if both of his attack rolls hit the fighter deals damage as normal but also performs the combat manuver.




 



That would certainly be easy to implement, and give the fighter an advantage. Here's one : everyone can try manoeuvers, but only the fighter also deal damage if it connect. 

My biggest beef with Powers and Feats is that if it provides for a lot of extra customization for the character, it does create an extra layer of complexity and the requirement of having to use gaming jargon to play the game. Let me explain.

I was introducted to D&D (I was approx. 12yo, it was 1E) by simply have the DM throw me a character sheet of a human barbarian and then proceeded to start playing right away. No need to learn the rules, as long as the DM can handle them, you can play because you can dictate what you want your character to do in combat by using plain english, no gaming jargon at all. Yes, it does mean that the Fighter "will hit with his sword", but this way, I can start gaming right-off the bat with a complete RPG neophyte without even having to explain how the game works at all. Yes, it does mean I'll have to assist him when he'll make checks/attacks/saves, but as long as he can simply describe all his character actions in plain english, HE CAN PLAY. No need to ask him how much of a penalty he is going to give himself to do more damage with his Power Attack. No need to ask him which Power he'll use that round to then explain him what a Shift/Mark/etc. is. We can start gaming right away.

I'm used to play with these kind of casual gamers; they want to have fun without having to learn a sh*t load of rules. As long as I, the DM, know all the rules, anyone can participate. Now, I'm not saying we should get rid of Feats/Powers/Themes and other customization rules. I'm saying, the CORE game shouldn't require them. They should be optional, especially with the fact that DND Next is supposed to be modular. Heck, even in 2E, proficiencies were clearly indentified as being optional. 

What I'm trying to articulate is that TSR-era D&D let you be able to play right away by simply throwing a characters sheet at the player and start gaming right away. No need to learn any gaming jargon. Make CORE rules work that way and make the rest available for more rules/details hungry gamers, but make it OPTIONAL. The more people who can play the game, the merrier. 
My biggest beef with Powers and Feats is that if it provides for a lot of extra customization for the character, it does create an extra layer of complexity and the requirement of having to use gaming jargon to play the game. Let me explain.

I was introducted to D&D (I was approx. 12yo, it was 1E) by simply have the DM throw me a character sheet of a human barbarian and then proceeded to start playing right away. No need to learn the rules, as long as the DM can handle them, you can play because you can dictate what you want your character to do in combat by using plain english, no gaming jargon at all. Yes, it does mean that the Fighter "will hit with his sword", but this way, I can start gaming right-off the bat with a complete RPG neophyte without even having to explain how the game works at all. Yes, it does mean I'll have to assist him when he'll make checks/attacks/saves, but as long as he can simply describe all his character actions in plain english, HE CAN PLAY. No need to ask him how much of a penalty he is going to give himself to do more damage with his Power Attack. No need to ask him which Power he'll use that round to then explain him what a Shift/Mark/etc. is. We can start gaming right away.

I'm used to play with these kind of casual gamers; they want to have fun without having to learn a sh*t load of rules. As long as I, the DM, know all the rules, anyone can participate. Now, I'm not saying we should get rid of Feats/Powers/Themes and other customization rules. I'm saying, the CORE game shouldn't require them. They should be optional, especially with the fact that DND Next is supposed to be modular. Heck, even in 2E, proficiencies were clearly indentified as being optional. 

What I'm trying to articulate is that TSR-era D&D let you be able to play right away by simply throwing a characters sheet at the player and start gaming right away. No need to learn any gaming jargon. Make CORE rules work that way and make the rest available for more rules/details hungry gamers, but make it OPTIONAL. The more people who can play the game, the merrier. 

I couldn't agree more!!!! You may have struck the whole point of this! Describe in plain english what you want to do, let the DM handle what it means! This is why we need strong core mechanics to support this kind of play. 
In a desperate manoeuver, I grab my bastard sword with both hand and charge my foe slicing a deep cut in his knee. He lose 6 hp... Well, this kind of things bore me to tears. However it doesn't have to be this way. We want to feel like we are an action hero, this is the particular reason why a lot of people prefer the 4e. The standard attack is plain boring. When you watch an action movie, the hero often try some desperate moves that can change the tide of the whole battle. 

A way around this boring fight mechanics is so simple that I don't know why nobody use it, I call it fight with intent. Something any character can do so it's not game breaking, and even the monsters so it's way more challenging. You only have to describe your action and WHY you want to make it. For an exemple I would say I charge my foe and atempt to hit his legs so he fall to the ground. If my attempt is succesfull, my opponent would roll a DEX save or else he falls. As simple as that, it could even be used with spells. 

And it's way way more entertaining than describing a cool moves just to hack away a few hp from your ennemy. 
 

And all those options were easily handled in 2E by using... Called Shots. There was a ton of Called Shots details/options in the Complete Fighter's Handbook to satisfy all your needs. But I do think that core rules should be simple, once you get comfortable with those basic rules, provide rules to add any level of detail you want to add in your game, hit locations, bypassing armor, etc. No need to resort to Powers like in 4E to handle non-standard attacks. I actually think that Powers doesn't resolve that issue. Just for example, suppose that :

DM: "The drunk, smelly pirate goes and meet you at the bar and then gropes your ass."
Pirate: "Well, well, what do we have here ?" 
Samara, the female Barbarian: "I kick that b*stard in the nuts" 

So unless PCs come with special "Kick in da nuts" Powers, I don't think you'll be able to handle that situation with that. As a DM, I wouldn't refrain the Barbarian from attempting this because "there is no rule around kicking someone in the nuts". Using 2E ? I would do let her do so with a Called Shot and go with it. You don't need to have every option spelled out on your sheet to let your character act that way, either in combat or outside of it.
  





Absolutely, 2E had all those choices worked out in the fighter´s hand book, with the maneuvers and called shots you could attempt practically everything, every power you got for the fighter can be covered with this rules improvisation wise it´s no different than 4E. You can kick someone’s balls in 4E without a power, but I know many DMs won´t allow it because it´s abusive and etc...

I dear to say, it was as much fun to play with a Fighter in 2E before powers and stuff just with maneuver and called shots, than with the power system. The fact that a fighter could get several attacks per round was a huge plus to.


 


I guess D&D is going in this direction with martial characters, not exactly as 2E but somewhat in that direction, we just didn´t see the stuff yet.


 


The problem is actually lack of creativity. Non creative 4E players stick to the powers stiff description and limit their attempts only to that. Which is really boring IMO. Non creative player of old 2E fighter say only “I attack” … boring to. If you are creative, as this thread starter suggested ou can have fun with booth approaches.



The problem is actually lack of creativity. Non creative 4E players stick to the powers stiff description and limit their attempts only to that. Which is really boring IMO. Non creative player of old 2E fighter say only “I attack” … boring to. If you are creative, as this thread starter suggested ou can have fun with booth approaches.




The problem is not the lack of creativity, you are making your own experience as a rule in the game and remember there are many types of players and many types of DMs. I had many players with lots interesting ideas and let them use them even in 4e (for those who think 4e evades creativity), that was not the problem at all, but as any player they will find other groups and other DMs that’s where the problem begins, what I allowed they forbid and they stick to the rule; for example and that’s my own experience I used to play lots of vampire the masquerade and it was simple to tell and action and the DM put the difficulty for that action you throw the dice and you did or didn’t, easy, lots of imagination, my first D&D session try to do the same thing, I had a druid I told the DM I jump to them while I’m jumping I wave my smicitar to both enemies and try to push them with the impulse, the DM told me to throw the d20 then he told me you move and hit one of your enemies, I said but what happen to all my action I told? And he answered you can jump, you did it, as you only have one attack you hit one of your foes, and nothing more because you don´t have any attacks or actions left, next!!!.

Sometimes creativity it’s not the problem it’s the way you approach the game, you can be strict with the rules or you can houserule them to make a enjoyable experience to the players, but even though there’s a player who says the rules doesn’t allow that, anyway you cannot push all players to a style you have and allow you to improvise. In the other hand why do I have to read all those pages of pages of spells, if I can improvise and have creativity to made my own spells?.

The real problem is lack of coherence. Why a spellcaster has so many options written and martial classes instead have few, have to improvise and beg for DMs approval?, let them both have nice sets of options written or have them few, but  to both type of classes… it’s about lack of coherence not lack of creativity, anyone at any edition have creativity that’s why we play RPGs, because we imagine the world that has been told to us and we interact with it…

So please let’s forget about misconceptions of editions


Sign In to post comments